15 Incredible Spirulina Health Benefits

Spirulina and other sea vegetables are a valuable source of concentrated nutrients that are generally underutilized in our kitchens. Spirulina is one of the most nutrient-dense superfoods on the planet, belonging to the blue-green algae family. The blue colour is from the phycocyanin pigment, and the green colour, comes from chlorophyll. 

Spirulina thrives in a freshwater, alkaline environment and has been around since the first appearance of life on Earth. The spirulina name comes from their naturally spiraling microscopic strands (which isn’t visible to the naked eye). There are approximately 35 known varieties of spirulina, all packing an impressive array of nutrients. 
Hawaiian Spirulina, American Spirulina, African Spirulina and Mexican Spirulina are the most readily available types. These varieties are found as spirulina powder or spirulina tablets. Organic spirulina powder and organic spirulina capsules can be purchased, to ensure purity and sustainability. 

Blue-green algae benefits are varied and rich. Here's what this superfood sea vegetable can do for you.  

15 Incredible Spirulina Health Benefits   

  1. Protein: Spirulina is 65%-75% protein, making it the highest protein plant food. 
  2. Complete Protein: Not only does spirulina contain a large amount of protein, it’s also a complete protein, full of all essential amino acids. This is rare in the plant world. 
  3. Vitamins: A, B1, B2, B6, E and K.
  4. Phytonutrients: Contains a variety of health-promotive phytonutrients. 
  5. Chlorophyll: A potent blood purifier, builder, detoxifier and energizer. Chlorophyll’s structure is almost identical to that of human blood. Instead of a centre element of iron like human blood, chlorophyll has a centre element of magnesium. 
  6. Gamma-Linoleic Acid (GLA): An anti-inflammatory, essential fatty acid (EFA) that supports a variety of body systems, including the nervous system, skin and hair. 
  7. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs): Omega-3s, Omega-6s and Omega-9s. 
  8. Iron: Spirulina is a blood-builder, containing large amounts of absorbable iron, without the acidifying effects of red meat or the negative digest effects related to iron supplementation (e.g. constipation). 
  9. Sulfur: Rich in the mineral sulfur, spirulina contributes to joint health and arthritis relief, flexibility, healthy skin, hair shine and liver health.  
  10. Calcium: Contains highly absorbable calcium for strong bones, teeth, muscle and heart function. 
  11. Antioxidants: Spirulina’s most notable antioxidants are beta-carotene, chlorophyll, zeaxanthin, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and phycocyanin. 
  12. Immune Booster: The many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients in spirulina, support a healthy immune system. 
  13. Detoxifying: Spirulina is a great detox food, helping to bind to heavy metals, ushering them out of the body. 
  14. Low on the Food Chain: Spirulina is the scum of the earth, literally, but this is good news for your health! Eating lower on the food chain reduces your exposure to chemicals, toxins, antibiotics and pesticides, along with being environmentally sustainable.    
  15. Alkaline: Spirulina is an alkaline food, promoting a healthy pH and supporting total body wellness.  

Spirulina Side Effects

It would be hard to ingest too much spirulina, as it’s somewhat of an acquired taste. If you do have too much spirulina, it will simply pass through you. It may cause some digestive issues as well, so start with a small dose, such as ½ tsp and see how your body reacts.

Spirulina Dosage/Serving Size 

Begin with ½ tsp for 1 week in smoothies or juice, and work your way up to 1 tsp over the next couple of weeks. Gradually build your body’s tolerance (and your tastebuds’ tolerance), until you can handle 2 tsp to 1 tbsp at a time. 

Where to Buy Spirulina & Blue-Green Algae

Spirulina, blue-green algae and other greens powder supplements are widely available in stores and online. Some brands require refrigeration or freezing, so be sure to purchase from a reputable source with a high turnover rate, to ensure the freshest product possible. 

Popular brands include: E3LiveNow FoodsNutrex Hawaii and Organika. 

Blends of algae, grasses and other nutrient-dense power foods are available from: Amazing GrassGenuine HealthProgressiveBarlean's and Green Vibrance (Vibrant Health). 

How to Make Spirulina Taste Delicious  

This mint chocolate smoothie delivers all the nutritional benefits of spirulina, without a strong "oceany" taste. Smoothies are my favourite way to get more power greens into my diet as they're quick, easy and taste like dessert! This is a refreshing, chocolaty take on your typical green smoothie.   

What's your favourite way to eat sea veggies? 

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